Posts Tagged Health & Nutrition
In the 1960′s, science fiction movies often portrayed families of the future sitting at the dinner table in front of a dish of many-colored food substitute capsules.
This is not far off from our intake of vitamins today. We tend to be a creature of extremes, setting aside long-established values and behaviors when something new and enticing comes along, especially if we believe it is good for us. Maybe what we lose sight of in this instance is that “what is good for us” is precisely that, what is good for “us,” personally. It is a personal choice. A friend may feel new vigor from a daily serving of vitamin and antioxidant capsules and that is fine. If you try this and find it a difficult regimen to maintain, give up and return to your old ways.
Here is another misconception: “old ways” does not mean out-dated. It also means “trusted and reliable,” for you. It is a matter of taste. We try to force ourselves to adopt new behaviors and practices we are told are good for us, and may very well be, but how good is a new behavior if after trying and trying it simply does not fit harmoniously with your own true nature?
So back to the capsule-rich meal of science fiction. It may be highly nutritious, but what of the joy of biting into a fresh tomato? Science has identified with great clarity the various nutrients and benefits of tomatoes and fresh produce and science attempts to encapsulate these benefits so that we may be able to supplement our diet. Again, what of the experience of biting a fresh tomato?
What of the experience of watching that tomato plant evolve from a tiny seed and the sense of abundance when we return from the garden with an armful of fresh produce or even when we return from the market with these, heavy, colorful and irresistible gifts?
Tomatoes are rich in essential antioxidants. In fact, one of these, beta-carotene, is responsible for the tomato’s color. Lycopene is another antioxidant present in tomatoes. This is very interesting and important, but are not the tomato and other produce enticing quite naturally, even without this knowledge?
Incidentally, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants work in synergy with other nutrients. For instance, beta-carotene dissolves in fat. This is how it finds its way into the bloodstream, naturally. In other words, unless we take our daily supplements in meticulously calculated combinations and doses, so that the proper synergy exists to aid in proper use and absorption, we cannot replicate the nutritional efficacy of a good salad with a drizzle of olive oil or Mama’s heart-warming tomato sauce with her home-made bread and good Parmesan.
We eat with all our senses. Even for those who do not have the time or space or inclination to grow their own produce, food remains a full-bodied experience. The flavors make our synapses sparkle with joy, the colors re-focus our eyes to more essential things, the textures radiate from our fingers to our very core and the warmth or freshness comfort us. At times, science and convenience rob us of these experiences. But it’s all a matter of moderation.
No supplement on earth provides this full-bodied experience (and if they ever do, that will be a scary thing, my Friends!). As I write this, I cannot help but imagine an entire family sitting around a table, each person staring at a plate of many-colored vitamins and food substitutes wondering, “What’s missing?”
The weekend is a good time for grazing. This is a summary of some of the delightful Blog articles I have been reading during the week. I invite you to graze through these, and also through the archives of the creative writers who wrote them.
Food canning equipment, tool carts, compost bins, growing kits, cider and fruit presses, the Squeezo Strainer, food dehydrators, juicers, smokers, cold frames, greenhouses and so many more innovations contribute to making our lives organized and healthier and to turning our homes and properties into an oasis where the living is good.
All of these things exist because we are creative and because we have a unique ability to adapt to our environment. In truth, foodies, homesteaders and gardeners who write about their experiences are telling the ongoing story of our inventive spirit. On their pages, every tool and appliance is like a paint brush; ready to express a new vision.
You can access the entire Weekend Highlights series to date by clicking on that category in the sidebar at left.
First, we make a special detour. A while back, I noticed that our friend Goatman Dave had not posted to his blog, Emerson’s Acre, in a while. I kept checking in. Nothing. So I wrote a little note, asking if everything was well with his world and with the two mischievous goats in his care, Honey and Harriet. I heard back from Dave this week, who indicated he had not been able to spend as much time as before writing about the acre and goats.
This is what he had to say: ” I’m writing more than ever, just on another topic dear to my heart. If you’re interested, checkout Agoge Fitness Systems.” Upon entering this blog, I immediately pictured Goatman Dave lifting the world on his shoulders, much like Atlas. I do not think he will mind the analogy too much.
So we make this detour, for this is a place where we acknowledge each other for what we contribute. While this is not a blog about gardening, cooking (though there is a segment about diet) or homesteading, the philosophy presented within does have significant bearing on all of these. Life, like the garden, is an entire ecosystem and taking care of the body is an act of sustainability.
I invite you to begin here: Fear and Laziness
Second, I selected, randomly, one of the new visitors who have so kindly appeared at the Parlour lately, The Snail of Happiness. I love snails, so I had to investigate. Furthermore, the first title that crossed my eyes was this: Jurassic Chicken. If you are not curious already, I do not know what it will take.
“Throughout the film Jurassic Park,” begins the article, “there are allusions to the fact that dinosaurs are more like birds than reptiles. I think that we have one of their descendants in the garden…”
“Trained as an ecologist, I have been interested in conservation and sustainability for a long time. Some years ago, I discovered permaculture …and it has changed the way I think about many aspects of my life,” says the author. Reading this over again, I think I understand the idea behind the snail. They do not hurry. In a sense, they embrace everything. Explore…
Hop over to Bon Appétit Magazine for 10 Farmer’s Market Rules to Swear By (According to the BA Foodist). First, let me assure you that we have not been solicited in any way to represent the publication or its contents. Simply, it is easy to share such content when it is so rich with common-sense and down to earth advice for foodies and lovers of the land. I would not be surprised to learn that some of you have the latest issue on your table as we speak.
The article that caught my attention begins, “Dear Foodist: Farmers’ markets in August can be as crazy as a mall before Christmas. What are your rules to shop by?”
I have come across several articles about farmers markets and all have great and intelligent advice. What I appreciated about this specific article is that it makes suggestions that benefit the merchant, not just the buyer. A lot of labor goes into the process that begins with seed and ends on a beautifully dressed plate.
I wish to highlight two rules that stand out as personal favorites, if I may. Rule # 6 – “Each visit, buy one ingredient you’re unfamiliar with… It’ll make you a better cook.” Rule # 9 – “…Get to know your farmers: Not only will you get cooking advice, you’ll feel more connected to your food.” Explore…
Thank you for stopping by to read this Weekend’s Review. Please take a moment to leave a few words on the Blogs you enjoy, if you feel so inclined that is.